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“Best lodging option in the area”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of The Franklin

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The Franklin
Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in Chapel Hill
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Best lodging option in the area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2014

My husband and I have been staying at the Carolina Inn when we are visiting Chapel Hill. This time I decided to give The Franklin Hotel a try, given the reviews. I'd say this is the better option of the two. The other reviews here are spot on, so I won't reiterate. I will add a few pros and cons, from our experience:

Pros:
Check in was a breeze, and very pleasant.
Cookies were great! (Wish they were available around the clock tho.) ;)
Cooked breakfast was excellent.
Service was excellent, all around.
Room was very clean and comfortable.
Room was very quiet, but I don't think it was a busy time for the hotel, so not sure what it would be like if the hotel was near capacity.

Cons:
We got a room with a balcony over Franklin St. Wish I had known that the room actually only had a mini-balcony (barely enough room to stand outside, let alone take a chair out there), and not actually one of the bigger ones that the other rooms seem to have, with a table and chairs. Perhaps the larger balconies were for the suites, but then that would mean they have a ton of suites. In any case, I felt a little bit mislead by the availability of that amenity.

The standing shower stall was very nice. However, the shower head attached to the wall was towards the back of the corner shower stall, and when I reached in quickly to turn on the water to let it heat up for an evening shower, the very cold water was aimed directly for me, and straight out the stall. Within moments the bathroom floor was completely wet, and my clothes were drenched from having to run back in the shower and attempt to adjust the aim of the shower head. That was not the relaxing experience I had hoped for. Perhaps checking the shower head aim could be brought to the attention of cleaning staff and added to their check-list?

The air conditioner will only go down to 68 degrees. While this is probably fine for most, we like it a tad cooler. Also, there is noticeable road noise from motorcycles, etc., every once in a while. By setting the fan to be always on, regardless of whether or not it was sending out cool air, helped provide white noise. It is a bit loud tho, so if you aren't accustomed to fairly loud white noise, this may bother some.

Despite these (fairly minor) issues, we would definitely recommend this hotel to others.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank haaldi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 27 April 2014
Hello haaldi,

Thank you so much for your detailed comments about your experience at The Franklin. Above all, we're very pleased that you find our hotel to be the best option in the area!

We appreciate you recognizing the things that were positive about our hotel, and are also grateful to learn where we let you down so we can address those areas.

We do in fact have two rooms with very tiny balconies, which is a result of the layout of the building. I'm so sorry that you ended up with one of those rooms when you had the expectation of enjoying a much more spacious balcony. Our standard king rooms do feature the spacious ones and you don't have to reserve a suite to enjoy that larger balcony. We'll pay more attention in the booking process from now on to learn how important the balcony feature is to our guests so we can assign the appropriate room.

You make an excellent point about the positioning of the shower head. You shouldn't have to go running for the hills to avoid getting wet when starting the water. This is something we can easily teach our housekeeping team about and add to our checklist promptly. We will do just that.

It sounds like the air conditioner in your room may have been out of order if it only went down to 68 degrees. We will take a closer look with our engineering team to fix whatever may be malfunctioning. I don't know what room you were in, but I gather that it's either 3005 or 3006 based on your balcony experience - we'll check the A/C in both!

As we make these adjustments to fine tune the guest experience, we look forward to delivering an even better stay during your next visit to Chapel Hill.

Thanks!
Jay
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
94 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

This hotel is located on the main commercial street in Chapel Hill and there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars, and dessert shops to choose from. It is also a short distance from the UNC Chapel Hill campus if you are visiting for the school or on a business trip. The hotel staff is extremely friendly and they have delicious cookies at the reception desk which are free for the taking. The rooms are very spacious, clean and modern looking and the breakfast buffet in the lobby bar area was great too.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jvsjadaun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 21 April 2014
Hi jvsjadaun,

Thanks for taking time to post your comments. I'm glad you found our team to be very friendly and enjoyed the hotel facilities.

In addition to the breakfast buffet, we'll happily prepare anything you can imagine a la carte - please feel free to request any favorites on your next visit.

Hope to have you back soon!
Jay
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2014

We stayed 2 nights (a Monday & Tuesday Night) at this Hotel and it was our first time at this property. We were in Room 4015 and the second night close to 1am I had to call the front desk as you could hear the TV through the walls. The front desk called and then after another call, someone came to the door and spoke to the other guest. We could also hear him talking the next morning which made me question the thickness/insolation of the rooms. In addition, for this hotel to be relatively new, when the air conditioning came on & off it woke you up. There was no way that I could find to have the fan on all the time without it getting so cold. We were exhausted when we left.

One suggestion would be when the hotel is NOT sold out do not put people next to each other.

The breakfast in the morning was great and the staff were friendly. The location cannot be beat as you can walk everywhere.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 14 April 2014
Linda P,

Thanks for telling us about your experience at The Franklin. We're all disappointed that you didn't get our best, and that you left exhausted. The most basic expectation for staying in any hotel is to get a good night's rest - and since you didn't get that on your stay with us we don't feel you should have to pay.

We have had some feedback over the years about the noise transfer through the guest room walls, and we've tried to mitigate that in various ways. For example, the televisions were originally mounted on the walls, and we took them off and placed them on the dressers to avoid that direct sound transfer. Longer term, we have a plan to address the building structural issues for noise during our next major renovation.

And I apologize that we didn't make it easy to know how to set the air conditioning fan to your liking. If you give us the chance to host you for another visit, we will gladly have someone personally show you how to set the fan to be on at all times and still maintain your desired temperature.

You make a very good point about not putting guests next to each other when we are not sold out. I'm a little embarrassed to say that we had not thought of that before. That is an easy, practical thing to do and you can consider it done from now on at The Franklin!

You've been very generous with your time already in providing this feedback, but if you'll please contact me at jay@franklinhotelnc.com, I would like to either refund the charges for your stay or make another reservation for your next visit to Chapel Hill at no charge. I hope to hear from you soon.

Jay
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Riverside, Connecticut
Level Contributor
60 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

People who come to Chapel Hill will often be told to stay at the Carolina Inn. However, the Franklin is a more modern hotel right on Franklin Street (the main shopping and eating area) and you can still walk to campus. Breakfast (cooked to order) is included; there are nice sitting areas and bar; there is a gym and business center. And the rooms are very nice. It's my "go to" now.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelingCTfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
Dear TravelingCTFamily,

Thanks for sharing your comments. We're honored to be your "go to" hotel in Chapel Hill! You were able to experience several of our amenities, including the guest favorite...cooked to order breakfast.

We can't wait for you to come back and stay with us again!

Until next time,
Jay
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Highland Park, Illinois
Level Contributor
67 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2014

If you are visiting or working in Chapel Hill for any reason, this is the place to stay. Large comfortable rooms with good beds. Furniture that does what it should. Our dresser had huge spacious drawers (I could easily have put four stacks of four or five shirts in a drawer and had room to spare). Large windows provide plenty of light. Ceiling speakers use a system that provides ambient music of your choice if you want. Thick towels, although not soft (I like them this way) are very absorbent. Plenty of hot water, although the water pressure was fair.

There is an executive center that isn't large, but has whatever you would need. the workout facility is small but with nice new equipment including treadmills, stair masters and hand weights.

Rooms run around the outside of the building leaving an open atrium on most floors, looking down onto the third floor "lobby." We stayed on the third floor and enjoyed a large living room/ private lobby with lots of sofa's thick upholstered chairs and a television. All of the third floor rooms surround this area. Although there was an event there the first day we were in, it ended at a reasonable hour and never presented a problem.

Daily breakfast includes menu service or small buffet in a comfortable room with large windows looking out on Franklin Street, an attractive, college town street with small colorful shops.

There is a bar off the lobby, also featuring lots of upholstered seating areas and a nice bar with large screen TV. There is an adequate bar menu as well.

The staff is friendly and personable without being obsequious or intrusive. Fresh baked chocolate chip or oatmeal raising cookies are there for the taking at the front desk.

Plenty of free parking in the garages with unlimited in-out use.

The location is near many excellent restaurants, shops and upscale bars.

We intend to stay here again when in Chapel Hill.

NOTE: sells out for graduation a year in advance and for most of the football season.

Room Tip: avoid rooms over garage if staying on the third floor. Very cold tile floors are the result in the b...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AEBlumberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 11 February 2014
Hello AEBlumberg,

We really appreciate your detailed description of your experience at The Franklin, and happy that you agree it's the place to stay in Chapel Hill for any reason!

It sounds like you made good use of all the hotel has to offer, from the amenities in the room, to the various common spaces, and the available food options. Not to mention all the great shopping dining just outside our front door.

You're not the only guest to mention the limited water pressure in the shower recently, and we are looking into that as we speak. Some of the shower heads were originally installed with restrictors to conserve water. But that may be leading to lackluster pressure and potentially even requiring longer showers. We will diligently address this so that the water pressure in all rooms is satisfyingly powerful.

We're thrilled that the rest of your experience was so positive, and that you intend to stay with us again on your next visit - we can't wait to have you here soon!

Jay
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Fallston, Maryland
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2014

We visited Chapel Hill to see a Tar Heels game. I wanted to stay in a wonderful hotel and we hit the jack pot. The Franklin is absolutely perfect. From the start, the lovely people at the front desk offered us freshly baked warm cookies as we registered. Our room was ready and we found it perfectly appointed. Our king sized bed had luxurious linens with a feather comforter, and the sofa had a heavy weighted knitted throw draped over the arm. Nice touch! The bath was terrific with a very large tiled shower. The towels were so thick and heavy, loved them!
We were told there was a shuttle to The Smith Center so an hour before game time we went to the desk to be shuttled. The shuttle only holds 7 so we had to wait our turn. Well it was raining and the shuttle was tied up in traffic so we were going to be late. Alicia at the front desk offered to drive us in her car, so nice. But just in time one of the gentleman at the desk called "Ike" the cab driver and owner of his cab company, and Ike arrived in time to take us to the game. Ike then picked us up and brought us back too. Great suggestion to have Ike shuttle us!
Breakfast was the bomb in the morning!!! A beautiful 3 egg omelet, waffles with fresh fruit, sausage, bacon, juice, coffee, biscuit, potatoes, and all was included as courtesy.
A lovely stay with lovely people. We will definitely stay at The Franklin with our next visit to Chapel Hill.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NandJfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 10 February 2014
Hi there NandJfun,

Thanks so much for sharing your comments about your stay with us at The Franklin. We're glad you found that our hotel fit the bill for you.

You mentioned all the amenities that are favorites among our guests - the luxurious bedding, spa shower, plush towels, and cooked to order breakfast. So we are happy to hear that you also enjoyed those very things.

We are disappointed that we couldn't drive you to the Smith Center ourselves due to the traffic delay, but are comforted to know that Ike was able to come to the rescue and get you to the game in time.

I'm sure that Alicia and Daniel will both be more than ready to give you a ride around town if you need on your next visit!

Hope to see you soon,
Jay
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Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
78 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2013

This is a lovely hotel right downtown in Chapel Hill within walking distance of almost all restaurants and places you would want to see. Free parking. Old hotel building that has been completely renovated. very nice and comfortable. Never stayed at the historic Carolina Inn but this is a modern hotel in an historic buiding where you can leave your car behind and stroll the streets (literally two, I recall) was a wonderful choice. the restaurant looked nice but you'll want to sample the great cuisines in all the nearby restaurants. used this hotel as a base to explore CH, Durham, Raleigh. Worked peerfectly for all and was happy that we had picked CH as the base ( most charming).

Room Tip: Even the room overlooking the main street was quiet, maybe because it was summer.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Tigercat1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jay P, General Manager at The Franklin, responded to this review, 30 December 2013
Hi there Tigercat1,

Thanks for your kind words about our hotel. We are all very glad you picked Chapel Hill as your base, and that you were happy with your choice to stay at The Franklin.

You're right that there are tons of great restaurant options just steps from our front door - so we always encourage guests to go sample the many cuisines available. But we'd love for you to try the complimentary cooked to order breakfast in our restaurant, Windows, next time you're with us. I recommend the French toast - it's terrific.

The summertime is usually pretty quiet in Chapel Hill. While that's a nice ambience, a visit during the fall will let you see how bustling this downtown is when it comes alive in the height of the UNC school session and football season. Hope you can make it back soon!

Take care,
Jay
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Additional Information about The Franklin

Property: The Franklin
Address: 311 W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Phone Number:
Region: United States > North Carolina > Chapel Hill
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Chapel Hill
#2 Business Hotel in Chapel Hill
#3 Family Hotel in Chapel Hill
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Franklin 3.5*
Number of rooms: 67
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We'd love for you to stay with us whether you're in town for business or pleasure! We are the only hotel in downtown Chapel Hill, right on Franklin Street - just steps away from all the action such as UNC Chapel Hill's campus, Dean Smith Center, Kenan Stadium, UNC Hospitals, Morehead Planetarium, Ackland Art Museum, and tons of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. Our guiding principle is to be hospitable, so we focus on our interactions with you above all else. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Franklin Hotel Chapel Hill
The Franklin Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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